So, here’s the thing. On my non-author Facebook, I changed my gender to male. I warned my husband before I did it, but I don’t think he would’ve noticed. He’s not the biggest FB user. Neither am I.

I don’t remember if I did it on my author one or not. I do recall thinking twice about it because I’m not F2M or trying to bamboozle anyone. I’m just sick of the ads targeted to women.

It doesn’t matter how many times I try to tell FB and their advertisers that 1) I am not a mother, and 2) I am not interested in returning to college. They were determined for weeks to spam me with an ad, “Mom, want to go back to college?”

You can tell those ads that you’re not interested and even ask nicely not to be shown them again. It doesn’t work. So finally, I made the choice to become a man.

Gender surgery in cyberland is pretty easy. It just took a few clicks. It didn’t seem to raise any particular alarms, just changed the ads I received and led to a couple of questions from old friends who always thought I was a little manish. Whatever.

I haven’t seen any notes about fathers going back to school now that the kids would theoretically be old enough to fend for themselves. I guess the assumption is that men would never sidetrack their personal ambitions for children, at least not in a way that needed to be mass marketed to. Sad, but I’m sure they have the demographic information to support that assumption.

Anyway, today I was checking my Yahoo mail and caught a banner ad for maxipads. Apparently now they stop 45% more leaks. Interesting number.

I used to work in advertising and was at one point very abreast of market research and such. A few years ago I read an article that said that 88% was one of those statistical numbers that people were more likely to believe. 80% wasn’t enough and 90% was unbelievable. So I had to wonder, had the threshold for believably gone down or was there actual tests involved in arriving at this number.

45%. That means that 55% of all menstrual leaks are still getting by! Messy!

I couldn’t help but picture the lab in which these studies would’ve been conducted in. Rows upon rows of crash test dummies with holes drilled into the bottom with IV drippers set to flow for slim, regular, and maxi sized flows.

They would all be wearing white cotton panties and a maxipad. All of them would show tell-tale red spots where the leaks occurred. Men (because hey, this is advertising and more people trust male scientists!) in white lab coats are all measuring the size of the leaks and noting them down, walking between old and new maxipads and doing mad calculations, coming up with averages, throwing out aberrational data and finally coming up with, yes! 45% fewer leaks!

“WE HAVE DONE IT!” the lead scientist screams, “WE COULD HAVE CURED CANCER, BUT INSTEAD WE’RE PROVING MAXIPAD VIABILITY FOR WEB ADVERTISEMENTS!”

Awesome. Because it’s not like those glorified Depends pads cost more than a new pair of panties or anything. Or make my twat sweat 88%* more because of all of the damned plastic rolled over my breathable cotton.

*using trusted percentage number. no crash test dummies were subjected to overheated genitals.

Even if it’s a little creepy to see banner ads created from the purses I was looking at on ebags.com two weeks ago showing up on new sites I’d never visited before, at least it’s not offensive. Even if I worry that the ever-growing profile of my shopping habits will enable Skynet to more efficiently profile me for the upcoming robot apocalypse by understanding which sweater from Coldwater Creek I’m likely to put on when it gets chilly in my underground bunker, I’m at least engaged in the process.

That’s all I really want. Skynet. No. Wait. To be engaged in the marketing. It’ll happen soon, I know. Until then, I’ll have to continue to deal with marketing based on my genitals. Oh happy day.

8 thoughts on “Gender & advertising

  1. Lol, Clancy. That’s a hoot. So should I now refer to you as “he”??
    However, your point about the ads for a place you clicked on once turning up everywhere else rang true. I clicked on a place call theiconicdotcom and now it appears everywhere. Yep, seeing all those cute ankle length boots wherever I go is a temptation I’m going to be unable to refuse, right?
    I have got to the stage where I absolutely refuse to watch television because of the advertisements. I sit down beside hubby at night and sometimes even get interested in what he’s watching (archaeology/travel/sport) but then the ads come on and I’m out of there back to the computer where I have some semblance of control.
    The day the adverts become unavoidable on FB or wherever is the day I’ll turn off social media too.
    In the meantime, you can just wait for the day when you get absolutely no worries about pad leak. There are some benefits of going through menopaise!
    Hugs
    Alison

    1. For as long as I can remember my mother spoke wistfully of her pending menopause. I’m not entirely sure if that will be a better situation or not hormonally, but I guess my panties will be out of IMMINENT DANGER. (dear God, won’t anyone think of the panties?)

      1. It’s not too bad. Or I was just lucky not to get too many side effects.
        Although one of the reasons I started reading romances again was to keep the juices flowing. TMI?

        1. LOL! Well whatever works! My mom seems pretty happy about it. I think it’s everything she dreamed of.

  2. I wanna be engaged in the marketing process too. I get tired of having stuff shown to me that is not relevant to my interests. I would like to see fewer ads for automotive insurance (I am happy with my policy) and more ads for Battlestar Galactica conventions or virus-free queer porn. They’d best get on that.

    1. I don’t even mind irrelevance so much as this burning, throbbing hatred every time it’s assumed that I squatted out sprog and sacrificed my life goals. Crappy maxipad ads make me think about the psychology of statistics and visions of bleeding crash test dummies. Those college mother ads make me think of life and potential wasted, of women enslaved to their progeny because men aren’t expected to make sacrifices in their lives for kids. They make me want to kick every man in the balls and punch every child in the nose for having the nerve to fertilize an egg.

      There are tons of women who tell me that they live their children and that they would do it all over again but I think they’re lying at least 88% of the time. Maybe knowing what they know now, they would’ve waited. Not been in such a fucking hurry to run down the aisle. Not been so desperate to make sprog with the first dickhead that seemed willing. Maybe the second husband was better father material. Or the fifth. Or their best friend. Or just started the whole thing alone, after the career was started and without expectations of a partner to help.

      I guess what I’m saying in the end is that I’d like less advertising based on the broken dreams of my gender.

    2. I’ll back you up on that one, Thursday!
      I remember visiting one porn site (for research purposes) and hurriedly exiting when I “chat” message came up from some guy in a nearby suburb to join them…. Mind you they would have got a hell of a shock if I had. Might have been worth it just to see their reaction.

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